CART boss says German date is safe

CART president Joe Heitzler says he is confident that the Champ Car race scheduled for Germany's Lausitz Eurospeedway on September 15 is secure, but adds that more work is needed to come up with a working TV package for the series' two-race European swing

CART boss says German date is safe

The CART FedEx Series races at the Lausitzring and the UK's Rockingham oval on consecutive weekends in September, but concerns had grown that the finacial viability of the German race was in doubt. Not so, says Heitzler.

CART's boss said the failure of the German bank behind the Eurospeedway will not effect the German Champ car race and the German government has guaranteed the financial viability of the track.

"The government has put an end to the banking issue so there will be no interruption of the track activities and its corresponding obligations," said Heitzler. "We're very happy to hear that.

"We're also told that the next sanctioning payment will be received in the next 10 days. We understand that this distraction has caused probably a hesitation in their marketing programme. We understand they're still trying to identify sponsors for the race and we're heading towards a terrestrial television agreement for Germany."

Heitzler admitted that reaching agreements to televise both European races was proving more difficult than he thought.

"Both of these races are tough," he observed. "We're finding out that with oval racing there are difficulties getting proper TV coverage and I'm the first to admit that this has been a tougher situation than any of us anticipated it would be.

"We're going to meet with both tracks next week to see what they can do to resolve these TV issues."

Heitzler is in Europe this week to begin a marketing push for the German and UK races, but he did voice concerns over the ticket prices being charged by Rockingham.

"I talked to (Rockingham chairman) David Grace about an hour ago," he said, during a press conference at Cleveland on Saturday, "and we're going to the House of Commons for a reception on Monday. Hans-Jorg Fischer (boss of the Eurospeedway) has been invited as a guest of CART. David Grace told me ticket sales were on the rise. We were concerned about the price of those tickets. We expressed those concerns."


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